British polo's showpiece survives at Cowdray Park
The centrepiece of Cowdray Park’s polo season has survived.
Cowdray Park Polo Club have announced the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship 2020 will take place – albeit with no crowds watching.
The tournament will start next Wednesday, July 1, and the final will be played at Lawns in Midhurst on Sunday, July 26.
Eight teams will take part this year, with two making their Gold Cup debuts. The tournament will be played with the usual speed and skill of high-goal polo, under modified rules which adhere to government regulations.
Encouragingly for the future of the sport, 2020 sees the highest number of British players entering the tournament in recent years.
Among the young British players is 18-year-old Will Harper, who lives in Midhurst. Harper junior is likely to meet his father, James, on the pitch as they are rival team members.
Cowdray Park Polo Club has been delighted to make Lawns available during lockdown for exercise and recreation.
A statement said: “While we are keen to continue to provide access, this must now be managed to protect the public and to ensure that the club is acting strictly in accordance with government guidelines by not permitting the viewing of sport until further easing of restrictions.”
Chris Bethell, Cowdray Park Polo Manager, said: “We are very much looking forward to play commencing.
“It has been a challenging start to the season. The grounds are in peak condition; there are some exciting team entries and 2020 has the potential for new talent to shine and perhaps an unexpected winner.”
Cowdray is the home of British polo and the British Championships, culminating each year with the Gold Cup.